The United States (US) Embassy in Freetown has suspended the issuance of category B visas to Foreign Affairs and Immigration officials in Sierra Leone. The ban is with effect 13 September, 2017.
In a statement released in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, the Embassy said the move is part of a restriction order on countries that are non-compliant with receiving their deported citizens, adding, however, that other consular services would still go on as usual.
The ban has also been carried out in countries like Guinea, Eritrea and Cambodia.
Category B visas are issued to people who want to visit the US on temporary bases for either business or pleasure. The Embassy in Freetown said they were ordered by the US Secretary of State to implement the ban only on officials from the Foreign Ministry and Immigration. However, the category of ban may be expanded if Sierra Leone is not seen to be compliant.
Few weeks earlier, Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Sierra Leone Embassy in US had refused to take in 27 alleged Sierra Leonean citizens who have served their jail time and have been released.
Following this action by US government, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday that they have instructed the Embassy in US to receive the 27 people and prepare their deportation to Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leonean government have been very concerned about receiving ex-felons in the country. The Office of National Security has been put on the alert to monitor the 27 people when they get to Sierra Leone.